Tong-Len’s Child Sponsorship programme allows children from Charan slum to attend school daily while living in the enriched environment of the Tong-Len hostels. The hostel program is designed to break the cycle of poverty by supporting the children in their academic, social, emotional, and physical development.
Tong-Len's hostel currently hosts 84 children from the age range of 6 to 18. One of the educational activities undertaken by the older children is to document their experiences and lives in any form possible: drawings, photos, short documentaries. This is now being done with the help of very simple equipment.
The idea is to empower the children to be more creative by introducing them to visual arts and teaching them the processes of photography, filming, editing and interviewing, beneficial both for educational purposes, but also for sharing their own and their families’ stories.
HE Space Children's Foundation is supporting Tong-len in setting up a "communication studio" with new equipment.
On their Facebook page they mentioned that the hostel children have set up their own web site called 'Making Connection' (http://www.makingconnection.org). Please visit the site to subscribe and read the children's blogs, news and upcoming events. The children now have their own studio and equipment which they can use for interviews. The filmwork, the production and editing of all the videos is undertaken by the children themselves. Navita, hostel house manager, is the staff supervisor for the children and the team comprises Nisha Kumari (Projects and Media Director), Karan Kumar (Project Development), Sunny Shinde (a/v technician and photographer), Pinki Haryan (Projects and Media Assistant) and Vijay Silwan (Programme Team Trainee).
Also the movie below was filmed with support of the new equipment.
In March 2015 we were honoured with a visit from Lobsang Jamyang, a Buddhist monk and founder and director of the Tong-Len Charitable Trust in India. The HE Space Children's Foundation supported the setting up of a communication studio now used to making connection with the world.
Video interviews with Tong-Len supporters and visitors to the hostel have been made by the children themselves in their own purpose-built studio. The original team running the Making Connection project are coming to the end of their time in school. Consequently a new team has been set up from classes 11 and 12.